5/18

You probably already know this, but
every day, people are born. What's more,
fathers are born, and sisters, some
of them hardly able to stop smiling at
that tiny, squirming image of newness.

Nine months of forced waiting
have rewarded them with a blank slate
on which they have a chance to write a future.
The past means nothing to the child
except for what it is given.

Some of the newborn mothers
clutch their pencils carefully;
they outlined all of this months ago,
but still their hands inch forward
determined to write only perfection.

Some of them scrawl with wild abandon
and leave haphazard scars from the eraser
or throw out the paper and pencil altogether
or, worse, they know how to draw nothing
but their own face etched on a child's body.